Scarlet book club: April 2015

As ever, it was a great pleasure to be at Scarlet, and even more so this time as it was a lovely sunny afternoon. However, our warm feelings about the venue did not extend to the book under discussion, The Accidental Apprentice by Vikas Swarup.

We had high hopes of this book as some of us had greatly enjoyed the film Slumdog Millionaire, which was based on Swarup’s previous book. But having read The Accidental Apprentice we feel it highlights what a good job Danny Boyle did of adapting Swarup’s earlier book into a film because we cannot believe that the author’s style has changed dramatically between the two books!

We felt that although The Accidental Apprentice touches on some very important and emotive subjects—child exploitation, teenage suicide and misogyny to name but a few—it deals with them in such a trite and superficial manner that it makes no meaningful contribution to any discussion about the topics and fails to engage the readers’ sympathies. We just didn’t care about the characters and the plot became increasingly farcical. The prose is dull, clichéd and banal, the dialogue unrealistic and the “dramatic tension” in the book laid on so regularly and thickly that it is boring. It is an easy read, but it would be very easy to read a much better book!

The next meeting will be on Thursday 21 May at 2pm in the library at Scarlet when the book under discussion will be The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – we hope for better things!

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